Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tracking Your Nutrition

So I am one of those people that absolutely hate counting calories, measuring food and watching every little ounce of macronutrients that enter my mouth. That's not a way to live, you're not going to maintain that and's a pain in the butt!

With that said, keeping your nutrition in check is necessary if you're having trouble reaching health and fitness goals (performance, body composition, everyday life). In my opinion that still doesn't mean you have to measure everything. If you are a person that has no idea what 4 oz of meat, or a cup of broccoli, or a tbsp of olive oil look like, then measuring may be beneficial at first, but then go by sight, by hunger level and by paying attention to your body.

Now, tracking nutrition doesn't mean that you have to write down every macronutrient and do all of the above, BUT I have seen in my profession and in my own experience that writing down what you put in your body helps to keep you honest and will make you learn how what you eat effects how you look, feel and perform.

Our world is controlled by computers. I guess you could say that I'm not exactly technologically savvy, but I do own a smart phone and I know that there are a lot of cool apps with regards to health and fitness that can help you along way. The following apps can help you track your calories, macronutrients, exercise, etc right at your finger tips. There are also apps that provide the ability to set interval times for high intensity training.

Below are the top 4 iphone nutrition apps on the market.

Livestrong Calorie Tracker- tracks calories, monitors weight, nutrition info, exercise calorie burning info

Daily Burn- allows you to scan UPC of product with iphone to get nutrition info

Mint Nutrition- allows you to create "plates" of food and also tracks nutrition info in your own recipes

The Carrot- allows you to create journals, take photos and look up health info on a variety of health issues

These 4 apps all apply to a different aspect of tracking nutrition. Pick which you think will benefit you the most and try 'em out.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Flying Solo

So this post isn't going to apply to everyone, but for those of you that are single or end up eating on your own a on. Even if you don't live this lifestyle, read it may learn something! ;)

For the last several weeks I have been flying solo with Marcus on the road for skiing tournaments, promotional stuff, and testing. Of course I miss him, but in many ways it's been good for me as well. I have had time to spend on myself...reading, meditating, gardening, and just being on my schedule. One of the challenges that I found though was cooking for one. It's been several years since I've had to do this for a long period of time (more than a couple of days) and the first time since I've been paleo. Here's what I found...

Eating paleo, you are eating fresh food that won't last for more than a couple of days without going bad so it's important to know how cook enough so you're not cooking all the dang time, but not cook too much where you're feeding the raccoons in the garbage behind the house.

A trick is to be able to use the veggies you make for more than one meal....
For example, I made a curry chicken stir fry for dinner one night. The next morning I scrambled some of it in with my eggs (YUMMY!!!). For lunch I cooked up two chicken breasts and made a salad (big enough for 3 portions). While cutting up veggies for the salad, I cut up a bit extra and put them in a container for sauteing with eggs the next morning. Dinner consisted of sauteed brussel sprouts and a turkey burger (cooked 2 servings worth). The next day breakfast I cooked up those precut veggies with eggs and topped with 1/2 avocado. Lunch was turkey burger and salad with other half of avocado mashed on top of burger for (sauce). Dinner was that Chicken breast cut up and warmed up with the rest of the brussel sprouts.

So...however boring, and maybe confusing it was to read that, hopefully you can see how with just a few items I can make several different meals. I am not a person that likes to eat the same thing over and over again so it's good to be able to know how to use leftovers to make different meals.

Next time I get the excuse from someone that they can't eat paleo because "it's hard when you're single. The food goes bad.", I'll know what to tell them.

By the way, this doesn't just apply to people who are single...but if you have a family and just don't want to feel like you are cooking all the time...make extra of everything and experiment ways to make items from different meals mesh to make a completely different plate.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Workout Buddies

I’ve always been one to like to workout on my own. I put my ear buds in, crank up my tunes and hit it hard. A few weeks ago, I joined a local gym, Norcal Strength and Conditioning, for several reasons…but a major one was to be able to have people to workout with for a change. As a trainer, I know how to program workouts and I have the discipline and desire to do the workouts on my own. However, I was beginning to get bored and I knew that I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as I could be.

The gym I am at offers different levels of high intensity group classes, so I am being pushed by people of similar fitness levels to me. The community at the gym is very encouraging and supportive as well, so as a result, I know that I have picked up the intensity of my workouts the last couple of weeks. Even trainers need motivation and encouragement when it comes to exercise.

Another benefit I have found is that I am developing a group of friends that are interested in the same thing I am – health! On days away from the gym, I am getting people to join me for track workouts, hill runs, etc. I love it!

So, moral of the story, find some people to work out with (friends or not) and you will push yourself harder, you will be more accountable, and you might just make a friend or two! You will be more motivated to follow the workout and nutrition plan when surrounding yourself by those doing the same.

Granted, I still like my own solitude time during my workouts, but I leave those for mindless steady state runs/rides.

Find some workout buddies and push yourself!